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Autumn Craft Courses in the Ribeira Sacra, north Spain and August roundup

August is nearly over in north Spain and despite the continuing heat it is difficult not to start to think about autumn.  Many of our neighbours will be thinking about the grape harvest here in Cristosende September.  But in the Cristosende craft workshops – despite their idyllically tranquil position at the end of the hamlet – we are looking ahead to several busy months ahead with Spanish craft courses, craft projects and visits programmed right up to the end of November.  In this post you can see a selection of photos taken in the craft workshops this past month, newly-made textiles, as well as what´s on for autumn here in the craft studios in the Ribeira Sacra.


Many thanks to those of you who came to the workshops, bought or commissioned work, or came for a guided workshop tour.  Of course, we welcome guided visits and inquiries during the rest of the year, but please phone us first to arrange a time that is suitable for us and for you.   In the meantime, here are some photos of some of the events here this August –

la representación gráfica del tejido es un conocimiento importante para la tejeduría manual en telarTextile Design and Analysis Course in August 2010

Well done to Begoña and Rosa – you worked hard to understand how to interpret and use the graphic representation of woven textiles in this intensive 10 hour course.    Hopefully you will now be able to use books with pattern drafts with more confidence.  Mastering weaving drafts does require a bit of practice but I always work on the draft on paper before setting up a loom with a new threading.  Really, for anyone who wants to deepen their knowledge of woven textiles and start designing original work for themselves this knowledge is really vital.

fulares seleccionados para Suave, exposición internacional de accesorios textilesAnna Champeney Estudio Textil textiles selected for 2 international textile exhibitions

The bi-ennial exhibition of textile accessories organized by the Asociación de Creadores Textiles de Madrid, which opens in Costa Rica in September will include two pieces of work designed and woven at Anna Champeney Estudio Textil in Ourense, north Spain.  The work will also be on exhibition in 2011 in Madrid (on the grapevine we hear that the venue is going to be Madrid´s Textile Museum – but it´s best to visit the www.creadorestexiles.org website nearer the time.   Anna says “for anyone interested in exhibiting their textile work, Suave is useful exhibition to submit work to, as it has an international jury so you can be sure that if your work is selected it will be exhibited alongside quality work because an international panel of judges decide whose work is accepted.  As with most exhibition selection, the quality of your photographs is very important- as they will be the visual basis on which selection is made in 2012, the next date for the exhibition.  Be aware that in Spain it is not un-common for exhibitions organisers to charge exhibitors a fee to cover exhibition costs, not just post and packing”.

Natural Dyeing course for Beginners August 2010.

marga y evaMadder, logwood and onion were the dyes of choice during  during the fairly intensive 2-day Introductory course with Marga, Lourdes, Tania and Eva.  The deep purples and blues from logwood were gorgeous, and Tania managed to dye a single skein with no fewer than 5 colours.  Working together we managed to achieve no fewer than 34 different tones from just 4 dye plants, including Marga´s experiment with Maria Luisa (lemon verbena), growing at the edge of the outdoor patio where we did some of the dyeing.  And yes, it does act as a natural dye although we haven´t tried it out for fastness.   If you would like to do a natural dyeing course with us in 2011 then contact us or re-visit the blog around christmas time when our 2011 course programme will be up.

una madeja con 5 colores diferentes

agarradera con tintes naturales

Summer Craft Activies for Kids

jovenes tejedoras tejen el primer tejido en telarines de albergueríaInés, Sofia and Elena from Alberguería (Luinta), were just some of the kids who came with their parents on the guided workshop visit around the craft workshops this August – and their visit included trying out a table loom for themselves.  Well done girls – you did very well – and see you again soon for a willow fish making course or some felt ball making in the not-too-distant future.


As well as hosting a masterclass course with Danish weaver, Lotte Dalgaard in September and working on some autumn designs and exciting new kit projects – to be unveiled soon – we are offering some new courses in the autumn-winter period.   We will also be working on our programme for 2011 so if you would like to see a particular course offered at a particular time in 2011 now is the time to get in touch and suggest it to us.

Just off the loom – Zingy man´s scarf with natural dyes

bufanda para hombre de tejido gofre en lana con tintes naturalesThe zingy, spicy colour combination of this one-of-a-kind man´s scarf in 100% natural wool is particularly pleasing.  The scarf would make an ideal christmas present for a special friend, partner or family member.  It measures 27cm x 170cm (excluding fringes) and has been woven in warm waffle weave.   As with all the textiles from AC Textile Studio, the beauty of the colours is due to the use of natural dyes which are extracted at the studio itself.    Hand-wash at 30ºC.   The scarf is a one-of-a-kind, (although another similar, shorter, women´s version is currently also available) and costs 75€. Inquire about purchasing this scarf.

Mushroom basket course 21 – 22  September 2010

cursos de cestería con lluis grau en galiciaIf you have been wanting to try basketry for some time now this is an ideal opportunity to make your first basket, all ready for picking wild mushrooms later in the autumn.  Some regions of Spain have already banned the use of plastic bags for collecting mushrooms and in fact baskets have always been a better option – allowing the mushroom spores to fall through the basket structure to seed next year´s mushroom harvest.  Collecting mushrooms in a basket also means that they don´t get squashed.  Let´s see if in Galicia we can promote better mushroom-picking habits with the adoption of baskets too!

Complete Weaving Course for Beginners 11 – 15 October 2010

curso de tejeduría manual en telar en diciembre 2010In this intensive 5-day course you will learn to prepare a Louet table loom from scratch and weave samples and a finished piece of work.   This course is ideal for beginners and for those with limited experience or confidence who wish to work on a loom project from scratch and prepare the loom.

Spain´s December Bank Holiday 2010 – Short breaks in Galicia with creative craft courses and special offers

Treat yourself this Puente de la Constitución to a short creative craft break in Galicia.  Our rustic cottage, awarded themact quality mark,  with its two spacious double rooms and central heating, is available for rent and the craft workshops are just 30 metres away.

Casa dos Artesans (casa vacacional) en la Ribeira Sacra Galicia

Casa dos Artesans holiday cottage is ideal for 2 - 5 people looking for a traffic and tv-free holiday in a peaceful village setting with stunning natural scenery in north Spain. Casa dos Artesans specialises in holiday craft activities both for adults and children, in fabric weaving, basketry and natural dyeing, all taught by professionals.

balcón privado en Casa dos Artesans en Agosto 2010Here we offer you two holiday activities – an introduction to loom weaving and a beginners´ basketry course.  So you can try both our crafts over the holiday period.  You will be surprised at what you can make – with no previous experience – and if you sign up to both courses we´ll give you a discount of 20€. Contact us for more details.

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